Our third and final stop on the American Adventure was Las Vegas. We stayed for 4 nights in the MGM Grand Hotel.
I had been to Vegas previously and before going , I did wonder if I would like it or would I find it too tacky / Brits abroad style. I absolutely loved it the first time and loved it again this time. Vegas is like Disneyland for adults – the spectacle of the Strip, the hotels, the shops, the bars, the shows, the people, the lights all come together to create a buzzing atmosphere in the middle of the Nevada desert.
Vegas isn’t really famed for its culture and historic sights so our trip focused on eating, drinking, shows and shopping!
Las Vegas is home to a diverse dining scene – from hotel buffets to high end fine dining. Buffets are a nightmare for me – I have no self control and so despite having 2 free passes to the MGM Buffet, we avoided them like the plague. We did however, let ourselves get ripped off on more than one occasion in the Starbucks in the MGM. I’m still smarting from dropping 35USD on 2 iced Americano’s, a pain au chocolat and a turkey white omelette breakfast muffin thing. One thing I love about America is the healthier breakfast treats – turkey and egg white omelettes are life, just don’t get that sort of thing in Starbucks here. Anyway, a rant for another day.
Lago: Lago is an Italian restaurant inside the Bellagio hotel. We had made a reservation online before going to America and requested a table by the window so we could see the fountains during our lunch. The restaurant is very bright and it doesn’t feel like you’ve just wandered in through a Casino (which you have, never further than 10ft from a gambling machine in Vegas!) It is decorated in a blue and white contemporary style inside and the staff were very friendly and welcoming. We ordered a glass of champagne, we shared a flatbread pizza for starter then for our mains we both had the special that day which was a lobster linguine which was melt in the mouth delicious and more wine. We also shared a lemon tart for desert. I’m not a big desert person so was happy to share. The meal was quite pricey for a lunch – I cant remember exactly but 250USD seems about right but if you didn’t have alcohol it would probably be a lot less. Overall, it was a wonderful lunch, when the fountains went off, Con te Partiro played in the background which is one of my favourite songs of all time so it was just the perfect atmosphere and environment.
Andiamo: Andiamo is located in the D Hotel on Fremont Street, the old town of Las Vegas. We got an Uber down before our reservation to have a look around Fremont Street. Fremont has a more old school vibe than the main strip and is a bit less polished. There are a lot more street performers and people dressed up in costumes taking money for photos. The main drag is under a canopy which lights up and hosts the zip line ride over the crowds. The bars which line the street are a lot cheaper than the bars on The Strip! The restaurant is sign posted inside the D Hotel however we got lost as coming off the escalator we went wandering around when we should have done a sharp right as the entrance is kind of behind you as you come off the escalator. Link https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g45963-d7952612-Reviews-Lago_at_Bellagio_Hotel-Las_Vegas_Nevada.html
The restaurant is a beautifully decorated classic restaurant with dark wood walls and flooring and ambient lighting throughout. The service from the staff is what set this restaurant apart from most I have ever been in. The waitor was in traditional white coat and could not have been more attentive, explaining the menu, making recommendations, wine knowledge and was very personable. The place was full and there was one massive table of 20+ people but the service didn’t falter. The food was really tasty as well – I had scallops followed by fillet steak and copius sides and red wine – in my element. We ended up going home in a meat coma after it the meal. Again this was around 250-300USD mark and worth every cent for the service received. Link: Andiamo: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g45963-d3869216-Reviews-Andiamo_Italian_Steakhouse-Las_Vegas_Nevada.html Andiamo is located in the D hotel on Fremont Street.
Sushi Samba: I had wanted to go to this chain of restaurants for ages as I LOVE sushi and the restaurants always look so fun and funky. The menu is a fusion of sushi and Brazilian fare which go together really well. We ordered a mix of dishes including the A5 wagyu beef gyoza, chicken teriyaki samba style – came with purple mash YUM! The restaurant is decorated to a high standard and fits the style of the restaurant perfectly. Link: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g45963-d1141590-Reviews-SUSHISAMBA-Las_Vegas_Nevada.html
We did a great deal of drinking / partying the night away in Vegas. We could have been a bit more savvy with the happy hours and also remembering to take ID out with us. You get asked for ID everywhere an on two occasions we had forgotten to take any with us!
One of the best bars we went to was the piano bar in New York New York hotel. The pianist starts about 8pm just as happy hour ends – sometimes there were 2 pianists playing. I love live music, especially piano bars so I was having the time of my life. Especially when they played Robbie Williams Angels!!
There are a few pubs / bars in New York New York – the Coyote Ugly and Irish Bar are both really good as well. We also bought frozen cocktails from the various bars on the strip and carried them around and did a bar crawl in random bars down the strip / hotels.
Prior to our holiday, I had booked tickets to see Jennifer Lopez show in Planet Hollywood. She was out of this world. Her set had all her hits and the set was very Vegas themed – I didn’t sit down for the whole show. Her residency has ended but hopefully she comes back.
We also managed to get tickets for Queen and Adam Lambert at the new Park MGM theatre. Adam Lambert is brilliant and paid tribute to the legend of Freddie Mercury whilst also putting his own stamp on their greatest hits.
Vegas has tons of shops – Planet Hollywood, Caesers Palace, Bellagio and the shopping centre down past the Venetian / Treasure Island hotels are all brilliant – a mix of high end designer and high street shops. I haven’t been to any of the outlet malls but I am sure they are brilliant as well.
We loved the MGM Grand hotel. We had a decent sized room with a good TV (again for my afternoon naps I like a bit of TV!) and wardrobe. The best bit about the MGM is the swimming pool even though it is miles away from the main hotel rooms. There are a few pools dotted about and a big lazy river to bob about in to escape the desert heat. We nipped over to Wet Republic to see what it was like but you literally cannot sit down on any chair / bed without having prebooked and I would imagine it is extortionate to reserve a bed so probably only worth it if Calvin Harris is DJ-ing and you were with a group. Hiring a locker in Wet Republic is 40USD per locker whereas in the normal MGM pool it is 10USD. We didn’t last long in WR. The poolside bar at the MGM was decent value and we were able to get sunbeds in the shade no problems. Spent a good few hours relaxing poolside. They have music blasting all day so even though not at the official WR parties, it still has a party vibe.
Overall, we had a brilliant time in Vegas and we have booked to go back this summer to the Bellagio! We cannot wait!